How to Make an Epoxy Resin River Table

Learn how to make an epoxy resin river table using live edge sinker cypress wood that glows in the dark. 

Tools I Used

 

Often times, I experiment with many different products and tools while working with epoxy resin.  Therefore, the products I use in a certain project may not be my favorite.

For your convenience, I’ve compiled a complete list of my favorite Epoxy Resin material and tools – click HERE to see the list.

 

Introduction

The leftover sinker cypress from my previous river table and my desire to improve my skills and add unique features inspired me to create this glow table.

Repetitive tasks bore me easily and I dreaded the thought of making the same table twice.

Although this sinker cypress table matches the other live edge river table, it is very different because it GLOWS in the dark without lights.

Also, be sure to check out my reclaimed Epoxy Bar Top and my reclaimed heart pine river glow table.

How to Make Epoxy Resin River Table that GLOWS

 

DIY Digital Plans for this Project

Additionally, I have DIY Plans available for download which include the following:

  • 82 page PDF
  • Tool List
  • Material List
  • Resin Volume Formula
  • Woodworking Tips & Techniques
  • Full Companion Video of Build

Click HERE to download the epoxy resin river table DIY project plans today.

 

Sinker Cypress Wood

First of all, I used Sinker Cypress for this project as I have in many of my other projects.

This is the third sinker cypress table projects within the last 12 months.  I like using sinker cypress because it’s unique grain patterns, color variations, durability, and history.

Sinker Cypress is fairly soft, which makes it susceptible to dents and scratches.  I normally use sinker cypress for desks or entryway tables.

This piece of sinker cypress was already the correct length.  I cut the original piece in half for my previous project, so the remaining piece was exactly 48″ long.

 

Remove Bark

The first step in this project was to remove the bark.

First, I peeled away the loose bark with my old chisel that I recently resharpened.

Next, I used a rubber mallet and chisel to remove the bark I couldn’t peel off.

Then, smoothed the surface as much as I could without damaging the live edge.

Epoxy-Resin-River-Table_2epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_03

 

Milling Sinker Cypress Wood

In order to save time and work later in the project, I needed to mill the sinker cypress to achieve straight sides, a flat surface, square ends, and no loose debris.

 

Table Saw Jointing Jig

I needed to rip the sinker cypress in half with a straight edge, so I used my straight edge jig with dovetail clamps.

Without my straight edge jig, I could not secure the sinker cypress board to the table saw fence because both sides had a live edge (not straight).

First, I located the middle of the board by reading the grain pattern and measuring the front, middle, and back.

epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_04

 

Next, I secured the sinker cypress to the jig using the dovetail clamps, raised my table saw blade, and pushed it through.  Then, I verified the sides were straight by putting them against each other.

 

Planing and Sanding

Planing and sanding are the final stages of the milling process.

First, I ran the sinker cypress through my planer and removed  1/64″ with each pass.  Also, the wood was planed at the lumber yard, so there was no need to remove a lot of material.

Next, I used my orbital sander with 120 grit sandpaper to remove the loose debris from each live edge.

 

Square Ends

Each piece of sinker cypress had one straight side, so I was able to use my miter saw to square each end of each board – 4 cuts total.

epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_10

 

Melamine Resin Mold

I kept the melamine scraps from my previous led epoxy resin river table project, but I did not have enough to enclose both pieces of sinker cypress in a box.

Since I made a HUGE mess and wasted a lot of epoxy resin during my last project, I used a new technique to seal the ‘river’ and prevent epoxy resin from leaking from the bottom.

First, I used a piece of melamine that was long enough for the sinker cypress.

epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_11

 

The melamine was not wide enough to cover the bottom of each board.  Each board was hanging off about 4 inches on each side, which didn’t matter because it didn’t fall off.

Next, I measured how wide I wanted the boards and make sure this width was consistent on both ends.  I marked the spot with a pencil once each end was parallel.

Then, I cut 2 end pieces of melamine a bit higher than the melamine plus sinker cypress. I attached it to the bottom melamine piece with brad nails.

Finally, I removed the sinker cypress from the melamine.

 

Apply Furniture Wax

First, I coated the melamine with Renaissance Furniture wax to prevent the epoxy resin from attaching to the melamine.

Then, I used Johnson wax on my previous epoxy resin table projects, but I prefer Renaissance wax because it is a bit thicker and more greasy/wet.

epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_12

 

Seal Melamine

First, I placed the 2 pieces of sinker cypress back on the melamine and lined them up with the pencil marks to ensure each end was the same length.

Next, I used hot glue to seal each end.  Then, I used silicone to seal the bottom of each live edge (length wise) to prevent the epoxy resin from seeping through.

 

Large Epoxy Resin Tub

There is a fair amount of epoxy resin on my workshop floor from the Walnut River Rock Table and LED Epoxy Resin River Table projects.

I built an outfeed table for my table saw and decided to make the underside of the table a tub to catch excess epoxy resin.  It’s not pretty, but it works.  ;)

The underside of the table simply has 5 12″ 2×4 pieces which protrude vertically to hold pieces of various size.

I placed the sinker cypress glow table on the 2x4s.

Next, I verified the epoxy river table was level with my leveler.  Then, I secured the sinker cypress to the melamine with scrap pieces of plywood and a combination of F-clamps and bar clamps.

 

Test Glow Powder

I wanted this epoxy resin river table look like the other table for matching/decorative purposes, but I also wanted it to be unique.

So, I decided to add glow powder, or photoluminescence powder, to the base epoxy resin layers. Consequently, the river bottom would glow from the river bottom through the fire glass.

My family and I love the ocean, so I chose a blue glow powder (link under ‘Tools I Used’).

To avoid a potential disaster, I tested the glow powder to verify the color before mixing it with epoxy resin.  It would be really BAD if I had the wrong color!

I purchased the glow powder from Art N Glow.  They included a black light with my purchase, which I used to verify the color of the powder.

epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_18

 

The glow powder is charged by UV light, sunlight, or black light.

 

First Epoxy Resin Pour

For this project, I used table top epoxy resin from Pro Marine Supply.  

This is my favorite epoxy resin and I highly recommend it to everyone.

 

Resin Mixture and Ratio

I mixed 24 ounces of epoxy resin (12 ounces of hardener and 12 ounces of resin) per the manufacturers instructions which can be located on their website.

Next, I used a stir stick until the epoxy resin turned cloudy white.  It is important to stir the mixture and scrape the sides of the mixing cup.  Do NOT whip while stirring because it causes LOTS of bubbles.

 

Then, I added 2 ounces of glow powder.

epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_22

 

How Glow Powder to Use in Resin?

First, many manufacturers recommend 1 part glow powder to 4 parts material.  Obviously, they are aggressive with this recommendation because they want to sell more glow powder.

Ultimately, I feel a 1 to 4 ratio is too much for a few reasons:

  1. Too much glow powder may jeopardize the epoxy resin mixture.  I don’t have any proof of this, but it just seems logical to me from my experience with epoxy resin.
  2. Glow powder is not terribly expensive, but it isn’t cheap.
  3. I don’t want a bright glow; rather, I prefer a subtle glow.

Essentially, I find a 1 to 12 ratio produces a medium glow and a 1 to 6 ratio works for a bright glow.  If a black light will be used to charge the glow powder, I recommend a 1 to 12 ratio.

Click HERE to purchase the glow powder from the manufacturer.

Or click HERE to purchase from Amazon.

 

Mix Glow Powder in Resin

In other words, 1 ounce of glow powder to 12 ounces of resin for a medium glow.  Or, 1 ounce glow powder to 6 ounces of resin for a bright glow.

I continued to stir the mixture.  For my many mixtures of epoxy resin, I’ve noticed it ‘gives’ (becomes easier to stir) and turns clear when it is close to ready.

Since the glow powder prevents the material from turning clear, I payed attention to the consistency.  Once the epoxy resin was easy to stir, I knew it was ready to pour.

 

First Pour

To start, I slowly poured the epoxy resin on the surface of the melamine.

 

Next, I removed the bubbles and worked the material with a heat gun.  

I completely forgot to wipe the table with a tack cloth before pouring the material; therefore, the heat gun blew material in the epoxy resin.

 

I decided to use my micro butane torch to remove the remaining bubbles.

epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_27

 

Second Epoxy Resin Pour

After 24 hours, I mixed another 24 ounces of epoxy resin and 2 ounces of glow powder for the second pour.

This is the same mixture as the first pour and the same process; however, I didn’t use the heat gun this time.

 

I am comfortable mixing 24 ounces of material in a single mixture due to the size of my container and mixing stick.

 

Sanding

Normally, I perform sanding at the end of my project. However, I ran out of resin, which is the reason why I sanded at this point in the project.

The sandpaper grits I used was 80 grit, 120 grit, and 220 grit.

 

I knew I would have to sand more at the end, but only finish sanding (220 grit).

Once I sanded through all the grits, I wiped the wood with a damp cloth to raise the grain.

Next, I sanded with 220 grit one more time.

I used my air compressor to remove the loose debris.

 

Third Epoxy Resin Pour

The mixture of the third pour was exactly the same as the previous 2 pours.  I waited 24 hours after the second pour, used 24 ounces of epoxy resin, and mixed 2 ounces of glow powder.

I removed the bubbles with my micro butane torch.

Next, I decided to use the heat gun to move the epoxy resin around a bit since this pour was rather thick.  I removed the debris in the previous step so it was safe to use the heat gun.  ;)

 

Test Resin Glow Powder

I decided to test the glow powder with a black light while it was curing in the epoxy resin river table.

Additionally, I recommend using this black light to test glow powder.

To do this, I simply shined the UV black light directly on the glow powder for roughly 10 seconds. 

As I mentioned previously, the light charges the glow powder.

 

I knew I was done with the glow powder after this simple test.

It was not my goal for the glow powder to shine bright.  I wanted more of a gentle glow, which is why I didn’t use the 4:1 ratio as recommended by Art n Glow.

 

Charge Glow Powder

I decided to purchase a UV black light in order to manually charge the glow powder during the day. 

Since the table would be indoors and in a part of the house with very little sunlight, I knew the glow powder wouldn’t get an adequate charge.

This was a good decision because the black lights not only charge the epoxy resin, but it also makes the table look really cool during the day.

Next, I tested the black lights when they arrived and they worked perfectly.

epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_44

 

Embed Fire Glass

I used fire glass on this table because it will be placed in the same room as the previous LED Epoxy Resin River Table I built a few months back.

The fire glass is rather dusty out of the bag, so I cleaned the glass with water in a bucket.

Next, I put the fire glass in a towel over night to dry.

I poured the fire glass in the epoxy resin river table and spread it evenly across.

Then, I used a carpenter square to make sure the fire glass sat below the surface.

 

Fourth Epoxy Resin Pour

The fourth epoxy resin pour was the same as the first 3 pours with two minor differences:

  1. I didn’t put any glow powder in this mixture.
  2. I mixed 2 24 ounce batches instead of one.

It was my intention for the glow to shine through the fire glass to create a unique light pattern and look.

The glow powder causes the epoxy resin to be cloudy.  Therefore, there was no point in using it in the last 48 ounces of epoxy resin.

I mixed both 24 ounce batches in separate containers.

Next, I poured the first 24 ounces and removed the bubbles with my mini butane torch.  Then, I immediately poured the last 24 ounces and made sure I got the epoxy resin level with the top of each piece of wood.  I removed the bubbles in the same manner as the first 24 ounces.

 

Finally, I let the epoxy resin cure for 48 hours.

Afterwards, I turned off the lights and I was surprised at how bright the river table glowed in the dark.

epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_51

 

Remove Melamine

I really created more work for myself on my last sinker cypress LED river table because a ton of epoxy resin leaked between the wood and melamine.

Not only did it waste epoxy resin, but I also made it more difficult to remove the melamine and the resin stuck to the underside of the table.

I implemented a few improved techniques on this table.

  1. First, I sealed the bottom of the wood with silicon caulk.
  2. Second, I sealed the both ends of the table with hot glue.

In short, I sealed this epoxy resin river table as best as I could and It was SO WORTH IT.

epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_0001

 

The melamine removed VERY easily.  I used a rubber mallet and my utility pry bar.

There was virtually no epoxy resin to scrape from the underside of the table.

I used my chisel to remove the excess silicon and hot glue from the underside of the resin river table.

 

Table Underside

First, I sanded the underside of the table with 80 grit, 120 grit, and 220 grit.

Next, I used my air compressor to remove the remaining debris.

 

Square Table

Although I squared the ends of the table in a previous step, I did it again. Why?  Because I needed  the live edge river table to be 2 inches shorter in length. ;)

I measured 1” from each with my combination square and marked a straight line with a ruler.

Next, I used my straight edge and circular saw to square each end.

 

Epoxy River Table Top Coat

First, I mixed 4 ounces of epoxy resin, spread it carefully with a paint chip brush.  I made sure to remove the loose bristles from the paint brush before I spread the material.

Next, I used my micro butane torch to remove bubbles.

Oh, forgot to mention earlier.  I use a paint chip brush in lieu of a foam brush because I find it easier.

Keep in mind, foam brushes get flimsy from the weight of the epoxy resin.

Ultimately, I wasn’t worried about the brush marks because they eventually gel and blend together.

 

Table Underside Epoxy Resin Top Coat

First, I let the table top dry for 24 hours and repeated the same process on the underside of the glow table.

After I flipped the table over on a towel to prevent scratching on the top, I mixed 4 ounces of epoxy resin.

Next, I used my chip brush to brush on a light coat of epoxy resin.

Then, I used my micro torch to remove bubbles.  This micro torch is VERY useful device – I use it all the time for all sorts of things.

 

Attach UV Black Light

The UV black lights are meant to be attached with the lights facing down.

However, I need the lights to face up (towards the table) in order to charge the glow powder for the epoxy resin river table.

First, I used CA glue to attach the UV black lights to the underside of the river.  The epoxy resin is cloudy, so the marks the CA glue made were not visible.

Ultimately, I had enough length in the string to make 3 wraps.  One wrap on the outside, back on the other side, and last one in the middle.

 

Next, I turned off the lights in my workshop to show the look of the table with the UV Black Lights On.

Then, I turned the UV Black Lights off and the glow powder shined perfectly through the fire glass.  At least in my opinion it was perfect.  :)

 

Apply Finish

I chose to use Shellac as my finish just like I used on the previous epoxy resin river table I built.

Shellac is great because it dries quickly, protects the wood, and maintains the natural look and feel of the wood.  I’m not a fan of the wet (gloss) look – especially over wood that is beautiful like this piece.

 

Table Underside Finish

I applied two coats to the underside of the table.

 

Table Top Finish

Next, I flipped the table over and wiped down the top with a tac cloth.

Quick Tip:  After I finish using tack cloths or finish brushes (foam brush), I put them in a ziplock bag to reuse them later.

 

Then, I applied the first coat of shellac and I was careful to not allow the shellac to bleed on top of the epoxy resin.  

I put the foam brush in a ziplock so it would not dry out.

 

Next, I lightly sanded with 1000 grit sandpaper and applied a second coat.

 

Then, I sanded with 2000 grit sandpaper very lightly and applied the third coat.

For the third coat, I mixed the shellac with acetone to thin out the material.

 

Table Legs

Finally, it was time to attach the table legs to the epoxy resin river table. Also, I used the same hairpin legs as I did on my previous table in order for them to match.

Before I was able to attach the legs, I had to remove a lot of rust from them.

I used Boeshield Rust Remover which is the same stuff I use to remove rust from my hand planes and table saw.

epoxy-resin-river-table-glowpowder_20171016_86

 

Next, I attached them to the bottom of the live edge river table by marking pilot holes, drilling pilot holes, and attaching screws.

 

My dog (Belle) was hanging out in my shop with me and she doesn’t like the table. 

Additionally, she kept growling and scooting (quick run with her butt down) away from the table.

 

Final Thoughts

 

 

I’m really happy with the way this epoxy resin river table turned out.  

Even though it looks very similar to my other sinker cypress table, it stands out in a unique way by glowing in the dark.

Here are 3 pictures of the table in different modes.

First, this picture is the glow table with the UV black lights ON.

Next, this is a picture of the glow in the dark table with the UV lights OFF.

Finally, this is a picture of the epoxy river table in the early morning hours (6am) when the glow powder is losing it’s charge.

 
In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed this how to make an epoxy resin river table project provided you with some value.
 
 
Again, thank you for taking the time to read this post.
 
Epoxy Resin River Table - Pinterest v2-2

Learn how to make an epoxy resin river table that glows in the dark. This live edge epoxy resin river tables made from reclaimed sinker cypress wood.  It has glow powder and blue embedded fire glass. Get your free pdf download of this how to make an epoxy resin river table that glows.
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2019-06-17T14:12:02-05:0079 Comments

79 Comments

  1. Daniel March 3, 2018 at 10:05 am - Reply

    This is such an amazing diy project idea and I love it so much I’m going to make one for my brother t o give him and his soon to be wife at there wedding in October. My only real question is what is the thicness of the wood used? Everything else is super helpful and amazing help. I’ve already down loaded and printed the pdf just need to know the thicness of wood recommendation

    • Allison December 22, 2018 at 11:33 am - Reply

      Did you actually do this?! I would love to see it!

      • Jeremy December 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm - Reply

        Thanks so much for commenting. Yes, I made this and quite a few others as well. Do you want to see more pictures?

  2. Frank Meyer April 2, 2018 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Will it hold up for a picnic table top

    • Jeremy April 2, 2018 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Frank,
      It would be perfect for a picnic table or outdoor table. If I were to use it as an outdoor table, I definitely would choose wood table legs. Or, I could keep them the same and re-coat the black pipe every other year with paint to avoid rust.

  3. Brian I May 22, 2018 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    I’m using Pro Marine Resin as well and the instruction say not to pour more than 1/8 of an inch at a time but that would take far too many pours I would think when you have a two inch depth. Look like you were pouring about 1/2 inch at a time or around that. Did you run into to any problem with cracking or anything else? Thanks!

    • Ben August 8, 2018 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      I had the exact same question…even tried chatting with the company’s online people but all they did was cut and paste the recommendation for pouring no more than 1/8″. In looking at this and other projects of his, I think its safe to assume he’s pouring more than 1/8″ at a time.

      • Jeremy August 8, 2018 at 8:19 pm - Reply

        Hi Ben, I replied to Brian via email instead of through my website – my bad. My response to him is below, which I believe answers your question as well. If not, let me know.

        ***

        Thanks for reaching out to me.

        You are correct – I normally pour at least 1/2”. I sometimes pour up to 2”. The key is to make sure you mix appropriately and the temperature is ideal. If it’s too cold, you will experience problems. Not a huge deal if it’s too warm, but it is if it’s cold. I normally pour about 1/2”, torch bubbles and then pour another immediately after, then repeat until I get to 2”.

        Pro Marine has to be very conservative with this or else people would complain about their product very often.

        Good luck with your project and don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of assistance.

        • MICHELLE K SMITH February 23, 2019 at 2:37 pm - Reply

          Don’t poor when it is too warm. I did a bar top outside and it was in the 90’s which made it set really fast and it ended up cracking. Had to wait a few days to cool down, sand, and do another pour. The cracks are not that visible after the next pour but a few little ones are.

  4. Carol cole June 14, 2018 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Absolutely beautiful. You are so smart in making something like this. You could sell them for a lot of money. It is so beautiful. I can’t believe I saw this and Im seeing it for the first time. It is so beautiful.

  5. Muna June 14, 2018 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Hey! So.. I’m not really handy with tools or making things so I was wondering if you would ever sell one of these and if you are how much? By the way great stuff, love your channel :).

    • Jeremy June 14, 2018 at 11:08 pm - Reply

      Hi Muna, thank you very much!

      I am in the process of creating a storefront for anyone wanting custom furniture pieces.

      Currently, I have a few for sale that I’ve made on videos and I have many other river tables I’ve custom made for different people. These are made with sinker cypress, which is a very rare & expensive wood, which is the reason for the high prices. You can see these for sale here: https://pahjodesigns.com/shop/

  6. K perl June 27, 2018 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Which kinds of heat treatment needed to make a resine table

    • Jeremy June 27, 2018 at 10:50 am - Reply

      Hello, the only heat treatment I use is to remove air bubbles with a blow torch or a heat gun.

  7. Devin B July 7, 2018 at 6:03 am - Reply

    Would the UV light work if it was placed first in the ‘river’ and then epoxy coats poured on top of it, assuming the power supply was left accessible outside of the river? I’m looking to do something similar to finish the top of a half wall that I have framed in my basement between the support beams. Due to the support beams, I need to attach my live edge to each side of the framing and pour my river between them, but will be using Durock that I’ve properly sealed as the base for the river. I wouldn’t be able to shine the UV light through the Durock, so I was hoping to embed it underneath the epoxy. I can provide pictures to better illustrate. Also, what is the thickness of the slab that you used? Trying to gauge how much epoxy I should order. Thank You!!

    • Jeremy July 7, 2018 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Devin, Yes – that would work just fine. I would pour one thin layer of resin with glow powder and lay the black light after about 5 hours while it is still wet. Next, pour the additional layer of resin with glow powder.

      I chose to not do this because of the UV lights going out in the future & I wasn’t sure if I needed the lights to charge the table. I’m actually working on a project where I embed the lights in the resin, but I am able to remove them as well. :) . Keep an eye out for that project.

      The wood is 6/4 (1.5″) thick. It was 1.75″ thick, but I after planing and sanding it ended up as 1.5″.

      Hope this helps…

  8. Jason P July 11, 2018 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    I just purchased the plans for this table, and i want to do it but without the fire glass. I don’t want to use clear epoxy in that case and I can’t find very much on dyeing epoxy. If you could provide some information on dyeing epoxy that would be great. Thanks.

    • Jeremy July 12, 2018 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      I responded to you via direct email.

  9. Mitchell Hogrefe July 16, 2018 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Would it be possible to use a band-saw to create a “winding river” rather than the straight one shown? I understand this may make it more difficult to keep the tabletop square; however you could always re-square after all epoxy is dried, correct? Thanks.

    • Jeremy July 16, 2018 at 6:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Mitchell, absolutely. I didn’t do that because my slab had a live edge on both sides. So, I cut it down he center and flipped them.

  10. Matt July 18, 2018 at 12:12 am - Reply

    Great project, I’m using this guide for my own kitchen table top. My only question is the strength of the joint. I didn’t notice any bracing under the table, wouldn’t the joint between the resin and wood crack with vertical pressure? Or to rephrase that, how strong would the joint be?

    • Jeremy July 18, 2018 at 10:06 am - Reply

      Hi Matt,
      Thank you very much for checking out my project and for the compliment. The epoxy resin definitely forms a strong bond between the 2 pieces of wood (I presume this is what you are referring to). I’m 6’7″, 220 pounds and I stood in the middle of this table with no issues. I didn’t jump up and down, but it held my weight just fine. I just completed another project (Ocean Table) where I enforced the joint with square steel rods. Check that out here: https://pahjodesigns.com/epoxy-resin-ocean-table/

  11. Jason July 28, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Hi,
    Great work! Thanks for sharing.

    I’m wondering about the stability of the resin. You have no cross pieces on the underside. The resin is strong enough to hold weight in the center? (I do mean a person…but plates? Books? A heavy package?)

    Just wondering if a cross piece would be more reliable.

    • Jeremy July 29, 2018 at 7:13 am - Reply

      Hi Jason, thanks for the compliments! Yes, it is very stable. I’m 6’7″ tall and 225 pounds and it holds me standing in the middle of the table. Keep in mind, this is not a big table.

      I did reinforce a few of my large tables with steel rods and bondo such as my Ocean Table project ( you can find it here).

      Hope this helps and thanks for reaching out to me.

  12. Amanda August 4, 2018 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Hi, do you use a specific temperature on your heat gun? Or what temp is recommended for getting out the bubbles? Lower or higher heat?

    • Jeremy August 4, 2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Amanda,

      My Porter Cable Heat Gun is always turned to mid-high, which is probably around 800 degrees. I also use a blow torch more often to remove the bubbles, but I don’t allow the torch to touch the resin – it hovers over it about 1/2″ to 1″. The torch works better than the heat gun. I mainly use the heat gun to move the resin around the surface. Heat thins the resin and allows the bubbles to come to the surface which allows you to pop them. To answer your question, I’m not sure of an exact temperature.

  13. michael proctor August 15, 2018 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    what was the cost for materials?

    • Jeremy August 15, 2018 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      Not including the wood, it was roughly 225.00. The wood is sinker cypress and it was expensive, which is very rare and highly sought after wood. I paid 275 for the piece and made 2 tables like this one from it, so the wood was 137.50. Of course, cheaper wood can be used for this table. The links to the material i used are at the top of this post.

  14. Amanda August 22, 2018 at 3:14 am - Reply

    with the epoxy resin does it scratch easily?

    • Jeremy August 22, 2018 at 6:26 am - Reply

      Hi Amanda,
      It is more durable and scratch resistant than other protective coats for tables. Of course, it is possible to scratch it; however, scratches can easily be removed with a soft cloth and polish. It is also important to apply epoxy correctly to ensure it performs up to its potential. Thanks for commenting!

  15. Jason Brumwell August 31, 2018 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Just wanted to check about your pouring/curing times. Reading the other comments it sounded like you would pour 1/2”, remove the bubbles, then immediately pour another 1/2”? Is that correct or do you cure each layer for a day like it says in the step-by-step instructions? I had read that you wanted the first layer to still be tacky when applying the next layer but I was just curious on how long to let it cure. We’re attempting a bar top like this but our wood is 2.5” thick and we were just looking for suggestions! We’re also thinking about making it an “L” shaped bar and was wondering if you suggested making it two sections or pouring it as one big one. The two fronts of the L will both be 8’ Long. Awesome table, can’t wait to give this a shot our selves! Thanks so much!

    • Jeremy September 1, 2018 at 8:57 am - Reply

      Hi Jason, thanks so much for reaching out. The questions you asked are good ones b/c I had the same questions as well. :)

      The instructions are very conservative to account for different environments & skill level. They recommend only pouring 1/8″. Then, wait at least 4 hours to allow the resin to harden but to remain tacky before proceeding with the next layer. If the next layer is poured while the first layer is not finished the initial chemical reactions, your project will be ruined as the heat from the first layer will disrupt the second layer. The resin will not adhere properly if you wait more than 24 hours before pouring the second layer b/c it will be hard and fully cured, which is why they recommend a light sanding.

      I live in a very warm and humid climate, which causes the resin to cure very quickly. I can pour the second layer within 3 hours in the summer and 4 hours in the winter.

      Additionally 1/8″ is very conservative. I normally pour up to 1/2″ and have gone up to 1″ in some cases with no issues. I have hours of experience with this stuff, so I’ve sort of found what works for me (after a few expensive failures :) ).

      Regarding your project, I would pour it as one big section.

      Hope this helps.

  16. Jeff Ludwig September 14, 2018 at 9:20 am - Reply

    First off Beautiful Table. I am currently in the process of making one of these as a dining table. My question is would it be fine to use the same resin as a full top coat/flood coat or would you suggest a different resin i.e. stone cold resin? I have 2 kids and I know sooner or later if I leave it without a top resin coat my wood is gonna be damaged. I’m making mine out of black walnut which isn’t to cheap of a wood lol. Thanks in advance.

    • Jeremy September 14, 2018 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Thanks so much for visiting my post!

      I have young kids as well and completely understand your apprehension. As long as you use Pro Marine correctly, you will be ok with that. The worst that will happen is the table will get scratched and this can be fixed by simply polishing.

      More importantly, I would do 2 complete top/flood coats to make sure you have resin on the top to protect the walnut.

      Please send me pics – I’d love to see how the black walnut looks under resin. It’s going to be awesome!

  17. Joe White October 11, 2018 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Where do you purchase your materials epoxy,resin,mixing bowls, glow powder all the materials needed. you do great work i am retired and need to be doing something to keep me busy Thank you joe white

    • Jeremy February 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Joe, everything I used is listed at the top of the this page.

  18. Dean October 20, 2018 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    How heavy is this table?

    • Jeremy October 21, 2018 at 6:29 am - Reply

      The table with hairpin legs is just shy of 50 pounds.

  19. Barry Haggerty December 2, 2018 at 12:29 am - Reply

    That was a great lesson for building the table. I am just reading and learning how to build the river run tables. What do you consider too hot? I am living in Honduras and it stays around 70 – 95 degrees year long. My work shop is outside and open on all sides. Can you cover the table between pours to protect it so dust doesn’t adhere to the epoxy. Again that you for your information and guidance.

    • Jeremy February 25, 2019 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      My apologies for the late reply. 70 – 75 degrees is ideal and I definitely encourage you to build a cover for your resin pour that is at least 3 to 5 feet of space on all sides and top.

  20. cheryl December 21, 2018 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Hello, I have a piece of wood that we used as a guest log at our wedding. All of our guests signed it with sharpie. Do you think I could coat the wood with resin or will it blurr the sharpie?. the wood is starting to crack and I would like to keep it together. also can I keep the bark on?

    • Jeremy December 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      Yes, you can absolutely do that. The resin should not cause the marker to run. I would test a small piece before doing the whole thing.

      Yes, you can coat the bark. Do a light coat and brush it on the entire piece to get the hard to reach spots.

  21. Tyler December 24, 2018 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Hey, how many 10lb bags of fire glass did you need for this project?

    • Jeremy December 24, 2018 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      I used about 1/3 of the 10lb bag.

    • Brian March 11, 2019 at 11:25 pm - Reply

      For an outdoor table or any furniture with epoxy, once cured is freezing a concern? Also, how well does it hold up over the long haul to sun? Would it be a good idea to stain the piece, then epoxy?

      • Jeremy March 18, 2019 at 9:44 am - Reply

        Hi Brian,

        Always stain the wood first and then apply resin over the stain.

        If you plan to place the table in sunlight, I recommend applying a 2 part finish such as this one on top of the resin. All resin exposed to direct sunlight will yellow over time, but the finish will protect it for years.

        Additionally, make sure to use a quality epoxy resin with a UV additive such as this one.

        Regarding cold temperatures, I’ve only experienced issues during the application process. Cold temps prolong curing time, thickens the material which affects the flow, and humidity in cold temps causes moisture issues which dulls the resin.

        Hope this helps.

  22. April Smith January 12, 2019 at 1:53 am - Reply

    Hi Jeremy,
    Quick question beautiful job I want to try a table similar to this I’ve been doing resin art for about a year and actually have most these materials and want to try new things. My question is what is the material you used for the form and center that you peeled off?
    Thanks for sharing !
    April

    • Jeremy January 12, 2019 at 7:28 am - Reply

      Hi April,

      Thanks so much!

      I’ve tried many different forms and the 2 I use most are outlined below.

      -Melamine (the white shelving from Home Depot or Lowe’s found in the garage/storage isle). I wipe the surface with furniture wax or Vaseline. This is the most expensive option. This is the one you asked about.

      -The cheapest option is Particle board covered with packing tape. I apply furniture wax or Vaseline to the surface of the tape.

      There are a few other options for forms, but these are the 2 main ones. Some people use styrofoam insulation sheets, tyvex tape, etc.

      I hope this helps!

      Jeremy

  23. Justin January 15, 2019 at 12:55 am - Reply

    Just curious. What happens if you do the whole thickness in one pour?
    Can you see the layers you poured on the ends or is the finish product seamless?

    • Jeremy February 25, 2019 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      The layers are seamless. If you pour the entire thickness in one pour it won’t cure correctly because of breathability.

      • Wendy Ryans February 28, 2019 at 6:43 pm - Reply

        Would you mind telling me how to dye the resin?

        • Jeremy March 18, 2019 at 9:25 am - Reply

          Hi Wendy,
          Thank you for reaching out. You can dye the resin with resin dye (transparent or opaque) or with pigment powder. The process is outlined in detail in these tutorials: Resin Dye & Pigment Powder

  24. Gavin Compton January 27, 2019 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Hi there this table is fantastic. I wanted to get your opinion on temperature for the pours. I live in Colorado and its a very dry climate. We have days where it gets to mid 60s right now but the nights will get down into the low 20s. Is this too cold to pour the epoxy so it cures properly? I am making an office desk for me new office and want to make sure this gets done properly. I would appreciate the insight. Thanks

  25. Saymon Stewart February 1, 2019 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Hi there,

    I need the best epoxy resin for a wood tabletop so I’ve read a lot of stuff. And now I think Pro Marine and East Coast would be great options. Many resources say these epoxies are the best (this link https://woodimprove.com/best-epoxy-resins-for-wood/ for example). What would you say about that? Which option should I choose for my oak table top?

    • Jeremy February 2, 2019 at 8:23 am - Reply

      I’ve read that article as well and it’s a well-written article.

      A few things to keep in mind with an article like this:
      -The knowledge of the author. Unlike most similar articles, this author seems very knowledgeable and did his research. So, no worries here.
      -All bloggers write articles like this for to not only bring value to their audience, but also to make money (people don’t do that much work for free). One of the most popular ways is affiliate sales. This author is an Amazon affiliate and all the products he recommends in this article are sold on Amazon with his affiliate links. This is not a bad thing by any means. I do the same thing by way of projects and real experience. It is definitely something to keep in mind when making your decision, which leads me to the last item….
      -Finally, how much experience does this author have with the products? 0 projects, 1 project, 2 projects, 8 projects, or only 1 project specifically for this article?

      Ultimately, the article you referenced is not wrong. In fact, the article is very accurate if you only choose to shop on Amazon. It is simply missing the epoxy resin products not sold on Amazon.

      To answer your question (with no affiliate links included in this response), my go to resin when building a table for a client is sold by Stone Coat Countertops. If I don’t know what the customer will do to the table or where they will put it, I use this product because it is rock solid.

      If I’m building a table for myself (I know the place it will go and wear/tear it will go through), I use Pro Marine for the seal coats and fill coats. Then, I use stonecoat countertop epoxy for the top coat.

      Like the author recommended in his post, you can’t go wrong with Pro Marine.

      Hope this helps!

  26. Ray February 5, 2019 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    How long is the table ?? How much Renaissance did you use ?

    • Jeremy February 6, 2019 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      Hi Ray, the table is 46” x 20”. I use very little wax. In fact, that jar lasted me over 2 years and 25 tables.

  27. Amanda February 6, 2019 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Fantastic table, and thank you for your thorough tutorial! I’m looking forward to trying my first project soon :)

    • Jeremy February 6, 2019 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much and good luck on your project – I’m sure it will be awesome. Please send pics!

  28. FindSaw February 23, 2019 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    Wow, I have the chose the same wood design for making my cupboards! So it was instantly attractive to me. But as I read more of the DIY project, it was so interesting to see the images. It is not the tools but your creativity, of how you applied the basic tools to make such a creative piece of art. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jeremy February 25, 2019 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it!

  29. Leo Zhou February 25, 2019 at 12:49 am - Reply

    It’s really a fantastic project. It would be better if you can post all kinds of tools you used to make this dreaming table come true!

    • Jeremy February 25, 2019 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Leo, all the materials/tools I used are at the top of the post under the ‘Tools I Used’ heading.

  30. Andy March 9, 2019 at 12:57 am - Reply

    Jeremy,
    Fantastic project. I’m looking forward to making a dining table about 72”x32”. Love grainy type of wood like acacia. What would you recommend from a thickness perspective? I’m also considering using Odies oil products to finish the top. Do you always top coat your projects with shellac across everything?

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Jeremy March 18, 2019 at 9:32 am - Reply

      Hi Andy, my apologies for the late reply. I’m redesigning my website and missed this question.

      I recommend 1″ to 2″ in thickness. Less than 1″ and the strength is jeopardized and anything more than 2″ adds a lot of weight and requires a lot of resin.

      I use the following finishes on resin projects: Resin flood coat, Odies Wood Butter, Rubio Monocoat Pure, shellac, & Polycrylic. My favorite is Odies and Rubio Monocoat; however, I use the other finishes on projects for people not willing to pay the premium for Odies and Rubio.

    • Unaise April 13, 2019 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      Hey..i just want to study this…give me tips and tutorials…also the materials used

  31. Max March 26, 2019 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Do you need to adding bracing to this or does the resin bond well enough to hold the table together?

    • Jeremy April 2, 2019 at 8:34 am - Reply

      For this size table, no additional support is needed. However, additional support is needed on larger tables like this one: https://do-daddy.com/epoxy-bar-top-reclaimed-wood/

    • Lisa June 2, 2019 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      Your work is beautiful. I am wanting to build an 7’x3′ river dining table with river rocks I collected from the river near my house in the “river” part of the table. The wood I have is about 14 inches wide for each side, 2″ thick pine.

      So I’m planning about a foot of “river” filled with rocks.

      How much epoxy do you think I would need to do something like this? There is no place near me to purchase the epoxy, so I will have to order it online, and I want to make sure I buy enough.

      Also, would you advise doing several pours of epoxy before I add the rocks, like you did with the fire glass?

      This link is to give a better idea of what I want to do.

      Thank you so much for your advice! Your page has been a wonderful resource to figure out how to do what I’d imagined in my head.

      https://images.app.goo.gl/KvTfnng8ZazdACWc9

      • Jeremy June 4, 2019 at 8:08 am - Reply

        Hello, thanks so much for the compliment.

        Below is a quick formula (gallon and quarts) for how much resin you need for your project. Keep in mind, this does not account for the rocks, so I would subtract 15% to 20%
        (Length (inches) x Width (inches) x Depth (inches)) = Volume (Cubic Inches)
        Gallons: Volume (Cubic Inches) * 0.004329 = How many gallons you need
        Quarts: Volume (Cubic Inches) * 0.017316 = How many quarts you need

        Yes, I recommend 2 thin pours for the bottom layers before adding the rocks. Maybe 1/8″ thick per pour.

        • Lisa June 5, 2019 at 2:33 pm - Reply

          Thank you so much for the advice!

        • Lisa June 5, 2019 at 2:59 pm - Reply

          So hopefully I am doing the math correctly, but for a table that is 84 inches wide, 1 1/2 inches thick, and a “river” area approximately 12 inches, subtracting 15% for the rocks, I’ll need around 6-7 gallons of epoxy?

          I’m planning to order from Amazon, so my next question is, will I need to order 6 or 7 of these, or only 3, or 4?

          It’s a little confusing, because I’m unsure if the 2 bottles mixed together make 2 gallons, or just 1 gallon.

          Crystal Clear Bar Table Top Epoxy Resin Coating for Wood Tabletop – 1 Gallon Kit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYK2NAG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_f5b-CbZD0K3YE

          • Jeremy June 5, 2019 at 4:30 pm

            Very good questions and I can totally understand how that can be confusing. I’ll need to update and clarify my blog post and other instructions.

            The formula accounts for both epoxy and resin. If your kit includes 1 gallon of epoxy and 1 gallon of resin/hardener, this will count as 2 gallons.

            Subtracting 15 percent is the safe bet. You can probably subtract 20-25%.

            Also, I recommend you buy this epoxy resin from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UWpkbd

            I compiled a page on my website that has all the epoxy resin tools/material I recommend through using a variety of products over the years. Click here to go to the page.

  32. airbnb management sydney April 22, 2019 at 12:31 am - Reply

    So many great and useful tips! I don’t even know where to start! Thanks anyway.

  33. Peter Boesch May 28, 2019 at 12:26 am - Reply

    Thanks for the very detailed steps for building a river table. I have a work shop and I have been wanting to do this but i did not know where to start. I appreciate your tips on what not to do. What i would like to know… when attaching melamine to the bottom and side i get you hot glue it to the table… however when using silicone do you silicone seal on the outside or along the inside where eventually your resin will be poured? I didn’t quite catch that. Thank you for the insight.

    • Jeremy May 28, 2019 at 8:08 am - Reply

      Hi Peter, thank you very much. I’m glad my project provides you with value.

      Regarding your question, I normally use silicone on the inside of the mold. For extra protection, you can do the outside as well; however, it is not necessary.

      Additionally, you don’t necessarily need to use melamine as this can be rather expensive. Instead, you can use cheap wood such as particle board or any other flat piece of scrap material and cover it with packing tape. Then, cover the packing tape with a thin layer of vaseline. I use this technique on my other projects such as this one. On this one I used a thin piece of dry erase board I had laying around my shop.

      Hope this helps you.

  34. Paul Sc June 13, 2019 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Does the epoxy really heat up when curing? I am looking to make a display using keyboard keys, but I have read that this much epoxy when drying gets really hot, almost to the point that it’ll melt the plastic keys. Any views on how you dealt with this? Thanks

    • Jeremy June 13, 2019 at 9:06 am - Reply

      Hi Paul,

      In my experience, Epoxy gets hot during deep pours while using resin made for shallow pours. Additionally, excessive heat can occur if performing additional pours on top of a previous pour which has not cured properly. Each manufacturer have different formulas for their epoxy resin as well as specific instructions on when to do additional pours, etc. Some are meant for shallow pours and some are meant for deep pours. If you use this epoxy resin and follow their instructions, you project will be perfectly safe. I’ve experimented with this epoxy resin and learned I can do pours up to 3/4″ thick depending on the environment (temperature, humidity, etc.).

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